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Stock Downgrades: Weight Watchers Loses the Love Handles After Its Valentine's Day Massacre


Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.

Wall Street was all abuzz about a chart from 1929, but there was absolutely no danger of Al Capone's Saint Valentine's Day massacre from that year reenacting itself in the stock market. Indeed, February 14 concluded the single best week of the year in equities, with Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) advancing an impressive 2.28%. Amid 14,000 flight cancelations due to woeful winter weather, online air travel outfit Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE:OWW) jumped 18.30%, and, with the entire country urged to get off the icy roads for its own safety, Goodyear Tire (NASDAQ:GT) gained 13.73% to top the entire S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX). Two out of three supermodels on the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue were American, which ought to be good for equities. While they cavorted in the Cook Islands, Tim Cook's Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) increased 4.7% as Carl Icahn finally backed away from his stock buyback admonition. The old joke that "economists were created to make weather forecasters look good" was all too true as practitioners of the dismal science again blamed our arctic tundra for their retail sales forecasts so widely missing the mark. (Left unsaid was why Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) also endured an awful time of it.) McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) also blamed meteorological issues for its January US sales falling 3.3% which, considering Willard Scott was its original Ronald, really doesn't pass the giggle test. Time to send in the clowns. Or not.

Today's quarterly earnings announcements include Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Herbalife (NYSE:HLF), and Waste Management (NYSE:WM).

Anglo American (OTCMKTS:AAUKY): The commodity company, upgraded elsewhere today, gets cut to Hold from Buy at Societe Generale.

Denny's (NASDAQ:DENN): Shares are now Neutral from Outperform with Wedbush.

Equifax (NYSE:EFX): Raymond James reduces its rating to Market Perform from Outperform.

Julius Baer (OTCMKTS:JABXY): This upscale Swiss bank is moved to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.

Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU): The railroad is now Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Rolls Royce (OTCMKTS:RYCEY): Shares, which slumped some 13% last week, are lowered to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Tate & Lyle (OTCMKTS:TATYY): The British maker of Splenda sweetener, whose stock fell 15% last week, gets downgraded to Hold from Add at Numis.

Weight Watchers (NYSE:WTW): More bad news for the stock, which tumbled 27.73% to a fresh trough on Friday. Today it is taken to -- irony alert -- "Underweight" from Equal Weight by Barclays. Its price objective, previously $31, gets slashed to $15, and shares are falling further before the bell as a result.

See also:

New Stock Coverage: Yelp's Recent Gains Aren't for Real (MV Pro)

Stock Upgrades: Yogi Says Bear Market Finally Over at LuluLemon (MV Pro)
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